How to Sort: Recycle, Compost, & Landfill bins

UMD Facilities Management, who runs the UMD recycling program, created a new UMD Waste Guide to help you sort your waste! Avoid contaminating the recycle and compost bins by learning how to sort on campus!  

Useful Links:

Recycling Poster Image

Mixed Recycling

Accepted Recycling at UMD:

  • Paper: Newspaper, magazines, computer paper
  • Plastic Containers: Bottles and container (must be clean and dry)
  • Cardboard: cereal boxes, frozen food packaging, etc.
  • Aluminum: cans, containers, foil, pie pans, etc.
  • Books: paperback, textbooks, hardback, phone
  • Steel/Tin Cans: soup cans, fruit cans, etc.
  • Waxed Cartons: milk and juice cartons, juice boxes

Do not contaminate UMD Mixed Recycling bins with any of these items:

  • Food/Liquid
  • Plastic Bags/Film: grocery bags, sandwich bags, bubble wrap, etc. (When possible, collect these items and return to local grocery stores for recycling.  Otherwise, these items should go into the landfill bin.)
  • Styrofoam: packing peanuts, cups, egg cartons, insulation, etc. (even if the item has a recycling symbol)
  • Light Bulbs: incandescent nor compact florescent
  • Glass: jars, bottles, lab glass, windowpanes, mirrors, etc. (Drop off compost at glass recycling dumpsters)
  • Toxic Materials Containers: motor oil, antifreeze, etc.
  • Auto Parts: tires, tail/headlights, windshield wipers, grilles, etc.
  • Medical Waste: bandages, surgical gloves/instruments, needles, etc.
  • Hazardous Waste: flammable, reactive, corrosive, and/or toxic materials

New Glass Recycling for UMD

Campus community members can use purple to drop off empty and clean glass jars and bottles, regardless of color. Glass bottles and jars can be recycled with any metal rings, lids, or paper labels still attached. Only individual glass bottles and jars should go into these dumpsters - no miscellaneous glass items can be accepted. Additionally, glass should not be contained in plastic bags for recycling. This graphic shows what can and cannot go into the purple glass recycling dumpsters.

Current Glass Recycling Drop-off Locations:

  • Mulligans Bar & Grill Parking Lot (at the campus golf course)
  • Maryland Stadium, Outside of Gate E
  • Annapolis Hall, Outside at the rear

Compost materials image


  • Food Waste: fruit, vegetables, meat, bread, etc.
  • Soiled Paper: paper towels, plates, tissues, napkins
  • Tea/Coffee: tea bags (with staples), coffee grounds, coffee filters
  • Paper Containers: pizza boxes; compostable cups and cutlery; waxed and soiled paper take-out containers, cups, and plates (empty cups of all liquid before composting)

Landfill Waste Image


  • Packets and Wrappers: condiment packets, candy, and food wrappers, chip bags, etc.
  • Small Plastic Items: including lids and straws, creamer cups, plastic cutlery, etc.
  • Styrofoam: even if there is a recycle symbol on this item, Styrofoam is not recyclable on campus
  • Glass: jars, bottles, lab glass, windowpanes, mirrors, etc.

Recycling Quiz Do you have waste-sorting smarts to support Maryland in RecycleMania? Take this 10-question quiz about UMD recycling and find out.   

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